Controlling parameters on facies geometries of the Bahamas, an isolated carbonate platform environment

Kelly L. Bergman, Hildegard Westphal, Xavier Janson, Anthony Poiriez, Gregor P. Eberli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

38 Scopus citations


The Bahamas are among the most extensively studied carbonate regions in the world, and a number of phenomena typical of calcareous environments have been first observed in the Bahamas. Early geological research in the Bahamas was undertaken by Nelson (1853B) who surveyed their geography and topography. He noticed the remarkable lowness of profile and the dynamics of construction and destruction of the islands, outlined the biota and lithologies, described the formation of the carbonate rocks, and noticed the eolian origin of many Bahamian islands. Forty years later, the examination of modern carbonate environments rapidly progressed with the expedition of L. and A. Agassiz in 1893 (Agassiz 1894). Their explorations focused mainly on the fringing reefs of GE Great Bahama Bank. Research on abiotic carbonate components followed, by Vaughan (1914) who emphasized that carbonate constituents can originate from both skeletal secretion and chemical precipitation, and introduced the terms organic and inorganic limestones. Black (1933) first characterized the sedimentary facies on Great Bahama Bank and noted the significance of the widespread aragonitic mud. The sand-sized calcareous components of the Bahamas and their origin, including ooid sands, were described in detail in the classic papers by Illing (1954) and Newell et al. (1960).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCarbonate Depositional Systems
Subtitle of host publicationAssessing Dimensions and Controlling Parameters: The Bahamas, Belize and the Persian/Arabian Gulf
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages76
ISBN (Print)9789048193639
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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